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red from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many forrows. ver. 17, 18, 19. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor truft in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us all things richly to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to dif tribute, willing to communicate: laying up in ftore for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. And to multiply no more inftances of reftraints of this or the like nature, thus we ought to ftand affected towards praife and reputation, interest and power, beauty, strength, &c. We must neither be too intent upon them, nor enjoy them with too much guft and fatisfaction; for this is that difpofition which appears to me to fuit beft with the fpirit and defign of the gofpel, and with the nature of fuch things as being of a middle fort, are equally capable of being either temptations or bleffings, inftruments of good or evil.
3dly, The fcripture regulates and bounds our natural and necessary appetites, not fo much by nicely defining the exact degrees and measures within which nature must be ftrictly contained, as by exalted examples of, and exhortations to a spiritual, pure, and heavenly difpofition. Thus our Lord and Master seems to me to give fome check
check to the ftream of natural affection, and to call off his difciples from it, to the confideration of a spiritual relation; Mark iii. 34, 35. And he looked round about on them which fat about him, and faid, behold my mother and my brethren: for whofoever shall do the will of God, the fame is my brother, and my fifter, and mother. To which words of our Lord I may join thofe of St. Paul, Henceforth know we no man after the flesh--yet now henceforth know we him no more, 2 Cor. v. 16. The anfwer of our Lord to a difciple who would have deferred his following him, till he had buried his father, Matth. viii. 21. and to him who begged leave to go and bid farewel first to his relations and domefticks, Luke ix. 61. does plainly countenance the doctrine I here advance; and fo does St. Paul, 1 Cor. vii. 29. fo often cited by me. Not that our Saviour or his apoftles did ever account our natural affections vicious and impure; for 'tis a vice to be without them, Rom. i. 31. Not that they went about to diminish or abate, much lefs to cancel the duties flowing from them: no; they only prune the luxuriancy of untaught nature, and correct the fondnefes and infirmities of animal inclinations. Our natural affections may entangle and enflave us, as well as unlawful and irregular ones, if we lay no restraint upon them. Religion indeed makes them
the feeds of virtue, but without it they eafily betray us into fin and folly. For this reafon I doubt not, left under pretence of fatisfying our most natural and importunate appetites, we fhould be enfnared into the love of this world, and entangled in the cares of it, our Saviour forbids us to take thought for to-morrow, even for the neceffaries of to-morrow, what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and wherewithal we fhall be cloathed, Matth. vi. These are the restraints laid upon the body in fcripture; which if any man obferve, he will foon difcern himself as far purified and freed from original corruption, as human nature in this life is capable of. And that he may ;
§. 2dly, He muft fortify and invigorate the mind. And this must be done two ways. First, By poffeffing it with the knowledge of the gofpel, and the grace of the Spirit. Secondly, By withdrawing it often from the body. As to the former branch of this rule, the neceffity of it is apparent: fince the ftate of nature is fuch as has before been defcribed, we ftand in need not only of revelation to enlighten us, but alfo of grace to ftrengthen us; of the former to excite us to exert all the force and power we have; of the latter to enable us to do that which our natural force never can effect. It cannot be here expected that I fhould
I fhould treat of the operation of the Spirit, and the ways of obtaining it, grieving, and quenching it; this would demand a peculiar treatise. I will here only observe, that it is the work of the Spirit to repair, in fome degree at leaft, the ruins of the fall; to rectify nature; to improve our faculties, and to imprint in us the divine Image: that meditation and prayer, and a careful conformity to the divine will, obtain and increafe the grace of the Spirit: that negli gence and prefumptuous wickednefs grieve and extinguish it. As to the knowledge of the gofpel, I fhall not need to fay much here, I have confidered this matter in the chapter of Illumination, and will only obferve, that the doctrines of the gospel are fuch, as, if they be thoroughly imbibed, do effectually raife us above a ftate of nature, and fet us free from the power and prevalence of our original corruption. Were we but once perfuaded, that we are strangers and pilgrims upon earth: that all carnal gratifications do war against the foul: that our fouls are properly our felves, and that our firft cares are to be for them: that God is himself our foveraign good, and the fountain of all inferior good: that our perfection and happiness confift in the love and fervice of him: that we have a mighty Mediator, who once died for us, and ever lives to make interceffion for us that a kingdom
kingdom incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, is referved in heaven for all meek, faithful, and holy fouls: were we, I fay, but once thoroughly perfuaded of thefe truths, with what vigour would they impregnate our minds? How clear would be the convictions of conscience? How uncontroulable the authority of reafon? How ftrong the instincts and propenfions of the mind towards righteousness and virtue? These would alienate the mind from the world and the body, and turn the bent of it another way; thefe would infpire it with other defires and hopes, and make it form different projects from what it had before; old things are done away, and all things are become new. The fecond branch of this fecond particular rule is, that we must accuftom our selves to retire frequently from the commerce and converfation of the body. Whether the eating the forbidden fruit did open to the mind new scenes of fenfuality which it thought not of, and fo called it down from the ferenity and heights of a more pure and contemplative life, to participate the turbulent pleasures of sense, immerfing it as it were by this means deeper into the body, I pretend not to judge. But 'tis certain a too intimate conjunction of the mind with the body, and the fatisfactions of it, does. very much debafe it. 'Tis our great unhappiness,